Architect pitches potential apartment building designs to Roslyn trustees

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The Village of Roslyn Board of Trustees listen to a presentation by 45 Lumber Road LLC about potential designs for an apartment building at a 2017 meeting. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

The Village of Roslyn Board of Trustees held an informal discussion with an architect designing a potential apartment building on Lumber Road.

John Winberry of DHMurray Architecture in Long Island City presented two possible designs to Mayor John Durkin and trustees to get feedback from the board about what they might like to see at 45 Lumber Road, formerly home to Verizon and Cablevision.

The lot is currently zoned as waterfront mixed use, and 45 Lumber Road LLC attorney Thomas Pantelis said the goal of Tuesday’s discussion was to get feedback from the board before moving into more official steps such as zoning board applications and public hearings.

“I find it’s always good to seek out reaction to a proposal before we go full blown, but at this point I think we’re at a crossroads in terms of what could be done with the property,” Pantelis said.

Winberry’s first design was an L-shaped building ranging from three stories in some places to six stories in others and could house approximately 30 2,000-square-foot apartments with two bedrooms.

In this design, the building is closer to the promenade but shorter than the second design. This design would also come with 66 parking spaces, both underneath the building and in a lot between the proposed building and Lumber Road.

“What we started to do was explore different areas in the building and pull them apart,” Winberry said during his presentation. “By pulling the building apart, we were able to create green space inside the architecture, which means we could plant the building, softening the overall scale of the project.”

In the second design, Winberry said the building would be three tall blocks put together into one building, and the blocks would be seven, nine and 11 stories high.

The tower model would house 27 apartments and come with 60 parking spaces.

The taller design, however, is set about 80 feet back from the promenade, providing a large green space along the water, “visually opening up the building,” Winberry said.

Though all designs were simple white massing models, Winberry said the first five floors would be brick and the upper floors would be a combination of steel and warehouse windows.

Similar materials would be used for the first design as well, Winberry said.

Trustee Marshall Bernstein said his initial reaction to the tower design was that it didn’t look like the surrounding village, and Trustee Craig Westergard agreed.

“Roslyn is going to have a difficult time accepting a tall building here because what happens when you have further development along Lumber Road?” Westergard asked his fellow trustees. “It’s one thing to have one building this tall, but do we really want Roslyn to have five buildings this tall?”

Durkin said the board would look at the plans again, and Village Attorney would contact Pantelis in January to set up future meetings, possibly at the board’s Jan. 16 meeting.

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